Pandora founder isn't worried about competition, even from Apple

Oct 22, 2012 by Jefferson Graham

Online music service Pandora isn't sweating over recent media reports that Apple is developing a similar offering tailored to personalized music tastes.

In an interview with at the Public Relations Society of America conference here earlier this week, founder and Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren said Apple would provide "some serious competition ... but we haven't lacked for competition."

Apple declined comment on its plans.

In 2011, Clear Channel, the nation's largest , relaunched iHeartRadio as a personalized , but Pandora hasn't felt the heat in its user base.

"Our growth wasn't slowed," said Westergren. At the time of Clear Channel's big push, Pandora had 100 million listeners. Now it has more than 160 million.

Westergren created Pandora in 2000, based on the idea that computers could analyze songs to create based on listeners' tastes. It has not turned a profit since its in June 2011. Pandora pays royalties to musicians and and in turn makes money from advertising.

"The fact that large companies are turning toward our space means we're doing something right," Westergren said. "What we do is incredibly hard. For 12 years we've had trained musicians come in, slip on headphones and manually analyze over 1 million songs. We have 18 billion pieces of 'thumbs' feedback rolled into that. Hopefully we make it look easy for the listener, but the technology behind creating a playlist is incredibly complex."

Pandora listeners fine-tune their music stream by clicking a "thumbs up" button on a song.

The Pandora founder said the best defense against competition is to continually focus on making the product.

"Listeners will gravitate to the service that plays the best songs for them. It's winner-takes-all."

Microsoft is the latest entry in the field with a new initiative under the umbrella of Xbox Music. Coinciding with the launch next week of its Windows 8 operating system, the service will be free on Windows 8 PCs and tablets. There is also a subscription service and music store.

Pandora shares have been up and down in the past year in a range from just under $8 to around $16. In recent trading, the stock has hovered at around $9.

Explore further: Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Clear Channel swipes at Pandora with iheart revamp

Jul 11, 2011

(AP) -- Radio station giant Clear Channel Communications Inc. is taking a swipe at online music service Pandora with a revamp of its iheartradio application that imitates Pandora's personalized listening experience but doesn't ...

Cars the next frontier for Pandora

Jan 08, 2011

Internet radio star Pandora has topped 75 million users in the United States and is expanding into cars but it will be awhile before music fans abroad can enjoy their own personal stations.

Recommended for you

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

11 hours ago

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Apr 19, 2014

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

US venture investments highest since 2001 (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 percent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into a growing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

Floating nuclear plants could ride out tsunamis

When an earthquake and tsunami struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant complex in 2011, neither the quake nor the inundation caused the ensuing contamination. Rather, it was the aftereffects—specifically, ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...